So tonight is when I find out what dance I am doing. Last week we had our last group dance, said farewell to our classmates and learned who our partners would be, which is a little like finding out what horse they are going to put you on when a bunch of you go on a horseback ride in Colorado at one of those rental stables.

My partner is Fred Astaire dancer James Brann, who has been our instructor for the past five weeks and who says he’s a “stickler.” He is also prone to saying things like “Let the games begin!’ which makes me even more nervous. He is also about as tight-lipped as they come; he’d be a natural for the NSA if they want to fill Snowden’s job anytime soon. I have been trying to get him to spill the beans on what my dance is, what the music is. Anything. And he is not biting.

More on him next week.

The other man in my life, equally as tough, is Fotis Papamichael, the Mad Greek I have pictured here who is trying to help me train. This week, I am elevating his title to Fotis the Terrible, for the circuit training he put me through on Saturday. Technically, I am likely old enough to be Fotis’s mother, but this has not stopped him from pretending we are filming Rocky VI. He starts out with that peppy little smile, that press of a red button on a treadmill, and we are OFF—struggling up an incline, followed by a collection of mean machines aimed at battering every soft place I ever had in this body. Then more cardio, more weights, more cardio, more weights and pretty soon I am one hot mess (literally), dragging around after him with a towel and a water bottle begging for mercy. I will confess he did say I was doing “good work” when it was over--and that made me feel very proud. And, oddly, it made me wish I lived closer to Michael’s Body Scenes. Shameless plug? Absolutely. They say that which does not kill you…

In the meantime, the other competitors are raking in the donations, learning their own top-secret dances and starting to blow a lot of smoke around here about winning. So I say support the underdog, Rocky VI in lipstick, the girl eating a mountain of heavy metal every week.  Go to and click on my page.

Ignore the others—Teflon Dardano, the bewitching Occhigrossi, Dorothy the Demure, Gary “Six Shooter” Collins, Biceps Brockelman, Baby Face Palermo and Saint Cecilia. They are out for the glory, the dazzling mirrored ball, their 15 minutes of fame.

Stick with an original.